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Old 12-17-2019, 02:23 AM
18 posts, read 5,478 times
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I would like some help on visualising how to draw a Galvanic Cell for this reaction, since I have never encountered reactions where there is only one "term" on the right-hand side.

As far as I know, this is supposed to be a reaction where two platinum foils are submerged in solutions where the first solution consists of hydrogen ions that are turned into hydrogen gas, and the second solution consists of chloride ions that are turned into chlorine gas, or something like that, and I guess that those two gases then react to form HCl?
This is supposed to form a Galvanic Cell that looks roughly like this:

Pt | H₂ | H⁺ || Cl⁻ | Cl₂ | Pt

...But I am not sure how to visualise this reaction.

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Old 12-17-2019, 07:47 AM
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So, what you're describing is a basic H₂/Cl₂ discharge mode fuel cell, where chlorine is an oxidizing agent and the product of the reaction is HCl.

Here you have platinum electrodes (that also act as catalysts) suspended in an aqueous solution (aq) with fuel supplied along the electrodes, this prevents the electrode degeneration. The fuel, in this case, is H₂ fed under pressure along the first electrode and Cl₂ along the other.

What happens then is the hydrogen atom loses an electron to platinum leaving a hydrogen ion in the solution (sorry not sure how to do the upper + to denote a proton, so I'll just write it as H(+)), i.e:

½H₂ + Pt + aq ↔ Pt(e) + H(+)

At the second electrode the following takes place:

½Cl₂ + Pt + aq ↔ Pt(+) + Cl(-)

Originally both electrodes potential was 0 as they were basically the same. The resulting difference in potential from the above two reactions is what creates the current flow and allows for the hydrogen and clorine ions to combine to form hydrochloric acid:

½H(+) + ½Cl(-) → HCl or

H₂ + Cl₂ → 2HCl (your equation in the title wasn't balanced.)

The following has a more academic explanation - https://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.2883.pdf

Last edited by Itzpapalotl; 12-17-2019 at 08:33 AM..
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Old 12-18-2019, 01:59 AM
989 posts, read 182,535 times
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Originally Posted by Itzpapalotl View Post
½H(+) + ½Cl(-) → HCl
Edit: Above is incorrect as it shouldn't have the ½s before the H or Cl
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